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Why Do So Many People Hate Classical Music ?

   It's not "politically correct "for  lovers of classical music to denigrate  Pop music, Rock , or other kinds of  non-classical music .  To do so,or even to say you prefer classical, is to open yourself up to accusations of being a "snob" and an "elitist ".  But it's  perfectly acceptable  for  people to denigrate  classical music ,  to dismiss it as "stuffy, boring and elitist ",  irrelevant ,passe ,  a plaything for the wealthy ,  a  musty old  art form  consisting almost entirely of  dated music from the past , or even  racist .  Music dominated by "Dead White European  Males ".

    But these  notions are all myths .  And unfortunately ,  these myths have closed the minds of so many people  to the possibility of enjoying so much magnificent music written over  the centuries .  It's a fact - many people dislike  classical music not because of the music itself ,but because  they've heard  these myths repeated over and over  . 

   Of course, there's no law that says you MUST love classical music , nor should there be one . If some people don't like it, that's certainly their right .  But they shouldn't dislike it for the wrong reasons !   As the old saying goes , "Don't knock it if you haven't tried it ".  And so many people haven't really TRIED it .  Classical music is probably the most diverse kind of music in existence in terms of  musical styles and genres . 

     There is music by so many composers of  different nationalities, many NOT European , and styles have changed vastly over the centuries . The musicof Stravinsky is vastly different from the music of Beethoven .  Beethoven'smusic is vastly different from the music of Claudio Monteverdi who lived in Italy in  the late  16th and early 17th centuries .   The music of Monteverdi is very different from  Palestrina ,also of Italy , who lived a couple of generations before him . And so  on .The music of  Philip Glass , who is still very much alive , is vastly different from  Stravinsky's .

    The music of  Richard Wagner , a German , is vastly different from the music of Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian born in the same year , 1813 .  Orchestral music is very different form opera ,  and chamber music is very different form both .  There's such  amazing diversity in what we call classical music . So people should not listen to just one or two pieces of it and decide they don't like  the whole shebang .   Can you imagine someone who grew up isolated from the world and saw of movie for the first time , and decided he or she didn't like movies ? 

    So if you're going to listen to some classical music , listen to  various  types of it ; orchestral , opera , chamber music ,  art songs etc . Chances are you will like some  classical works and not others .  It's just the same with movies . We all like some , but not others .  However,with classical  music , you often need repeated hearings before you know whether you like something or not .  You should always be wary of  rejecting a work  immediately .  Give it a chance . 

     There are also  some unfortunate people who don't like classical music because of   music appreciation classes  they took  as  children or teenagers in school .  If a teacher does not a good job of  explaining  this kind of music ,  is a boring , apathetic  teacher , etc ,  the effect can be deadly and  close  a young person's mind for life .  However,  too  many public schools have long abandoned  music  appreciation  classes altogether , and  so many young people get zero exposure to classical music .  This has done possibly even more damage to the cause of classical music .  It's not the fault of these young people that they get no exposure to it .  If you mention the name Ludwig van Beethoven to them you will get blanks states and they will reply "Ludwig van who ?" 

    There are no easy answers as to how to remedy this  unfortunate situation , and how to  increase the popularity of classical  music .  But something MUST be done ,and  I'm convinced that it CAN be done .  It certainly won't be easy , but it's not impossible . 

Posted: Feb 24 2014, 09:36 PM by the horn | with no comments
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